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    Evening Times – Dec 1, 1987
    Police swoop on child sex ring

    A child sex ring involving more than 100 young boys has been smashed by Scotland Yard.

    Sixteen people – 15 adults and one 16-year-old – were arrested in dawn raids in north and west London and Kent today.

    And the total number of arrests in the two-month paedophile inquiry is now 23, including two 16-year-olds.

    Seven people – six adults and a 16-year-old – were arrested before today. Three of them have already appeared in court.

    More than 140 boys have been interviewed by police and social workers from Brent Council in a joint operation, and more arrests are expected.

    Police said most of the victims came from London, but others lived in Berkshire, Wiltshire, Devon and Cambridgeshire. Detectives from those areas were involved in the operation, one of the biggest Britain has seen.

    It was sparked off in late summer when a young boy taken into care said he was a victim of abuse, and a man was arrested.

    Scores of detectives became involved as the scale of the inquiry escalated.

    The ages of the boys range from 10 to 15, and they came mainly from deprived backgrounds. The arrested men’s ages range up to mid-70s. Two 64-year-olds have already appeared in court.

    Today, 18 of 23 people arrested remain in custody.

    They are expected to be charged with offences including indecency and gross indecency to young boys.

    Police and social workers are now carrying out the painstaking work of piecing together evidence in the case, taking statements from victims and examining property including video films taken from the homes of those arrested.

    Commander David Stevens, head of police operations in north west London, said gaining the confidence of children who had suffered traumatic experiences was the most time-consuming part of the inquiry.

    “Given these problems of collecting and collating information and evidence, police and social services have acted as swiftly as possible, following the initial information alleging sexual offences against boys.

    “The speed of the inquiry leading up to the arrests was possible only because of the close co-operation between police and Brent social services.”

    It is understood detectives are concerned about the possibility of physical danger to victims from the paedophile ring.

    The Glasgow Herald – Dec 2, 1987
    Police arrest 23 in alleged paedophile ring
    By James McKillop

    SCOTLAND YARD detectives working in close co-operation with social workers believe they have smashed the biggest paedophile ring uncovered in Britain, alleging homosexual attacks on 140 boys, aged between 10 and 14, leading to 23 arrests.

    In dawn raids yesterday, 15 men and a youth were arrested mostly in North London, but the accused come from as far as Hastings. They join three men who have already appeared in court in connection with the ring, and four others including a juvenile previously arrested in connection with the alleged offences.

    In all, 21 men and two youths are in custody in connection with the investigation, but police inquiries are continuing and further arrests may be made.

    Two of those arrested are aged 16, but those alleged to be involved in the ring include men in their seventies.

    Pornographic video recordings, literature, and photographs were seized during the dawn raids.

    The majority of the victims come from North London, but at least one lives as far away as Devon. None of them might otherwise be expected to come into contact with homosexuals. “We are not talking about rent boys,” one detective said. “Our paramount concern is for the welfare of the children involved, and we are working closely with social workers to ensure they do not suffer further.”

    Commander David Stevens, who headed the two-month police investigation, said: “A sensitive approach was of paramount importance, and in regard we have sought and received much help and advise from Brent social services officials, who have a great deal of experience in this field.

    “The most time-consuming part of the investigation was gaining the confidence of children who had suffered traumatic experiences.”

    The investigation began as a routine inquiry in the late summer when a boy was taken into care and claimed he was a victim of abuse. A man was arrested.

    As a result of additional information a special squad was established at Kilburn police station, and lore than 100 officers were involved in yesterday’s raids.

    The London investigation is totally unconnected with the inquiry in Cheshire where abuse is alleged against young boys and girls.

    Mr David Divine, director of Brent social services, said last night the total of more than 140 victims representing about one-third of the child abuse cases normally investigated each year in his area.

    While most of the boys who suffered in the alleged attack come from the Brent area, or nearby, the victims who live further afield have relatives in North London.

    On October 12, a 64-year-old cobbler from Kilburn appeared at Willesden magistrates court on several charges: three of indecent assaults on a 14-year-old boy, four offences of buggery involving boys aged between 10 and 14, and two offences of attempted buggery.

    On November 18, a 64-year-old clerk from Hastings appeared at the same court charged with conspiring with the other man to commit an act of gross indecency.

    The following day an unemployed man aged 59 appeared at the same court on two offences of buggery and three of indecent assault.

    The parents of the alleged victims knew nothing of what happened, and their reaction has ranged from shock and outrage to disbelief.

    It is understood juveniles, often induced with cash, were used to entrap the victims.

    Brent social services have opened a telephone service for calls from anybody with knowledge of abuse or for parents who might suspect their children have been involved.

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